We recently had our hearts ripped out our chest... & put back in, when our precious Molly went missing... in JAPAN! We were so lost with the language & cultural barriers (which is our fault) that I was just certain that we had lost Molly forever. She did find her a nice older single lady who did keep her safe & returned her home!
Butter Beanz... Becoming Domesticated
"If you can't say anything nice, then sit next to me. I am sure we will be best friends!"
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They string about 1,200 carp fish flags over the river in celebration of children! The koi (carp) & nobori (flag) was introduced to Japan was originally for Boys' Day or "Tango No Sekku", encouraging them to grow up brave, strong, & successful, which many Japanese still hold true to this tradition. Today (since 1948) it is now a representation of Children's Day, May 5th, to represent "energy, strength, & perseverance." Adding children's day into the "Golden Week" allowed the Japan by law to have an entire week of vacation! Many corporations extend this into two weeks...
I am personally obsessed with these flags & the little representation of them in other forms. Maybe because I am a new mom to a miracle: a son, maybe because I love gold fish or koi, or maybe it is both! Seeing them flowing in the breeze makes my heart lighten up just as much as seeing big white sails on open water! For me, this was a trip that was worth a little effort.
The traditional order of hanging is: Black = father, red = mother, & then one additional smaller carp for each child. Red & white ribbons are often added to symbolize the water. The Chinese legend says that is a carp swam up river he would transform into a dragon that went to heaven.
You don't realize how globally these string of fish are until you see them on a DIY site! http://www.diylife.com/2008/05/05/fish-kites-for-childrens-day/
DIRECTION TO SAGAMI-GAWA RIVER & PARK:
*Note: there is no English out this way, maybe a number or a hello, but that is it. If you are going, take your notes with you, written in print so that they can help.
- Go to the Sagamihara Station
- Take bus #17 from bus pole #5... bus pole will be in the middle right by the stairs. (There are other buses that go that way, but 17 will be the least "rural" in transit).
- 30 minute ride to last stop, you will know it is the last stop when the bus pulls into a small rural semi-circle area with stone sign & parks (there may or may not be other buses or people). If you feel like you are getting off in the middle of nowhere, yet a nice neighborhood, you are at the right spot. 310 yen you pay on your way off...
- Leave the bus parking & go LEFT up the road
- Take the FIRST RIGHT only a few yards up...
- Take the FIRST LEFT again, it will have a double mirror pole in the corner... the road you turn onto will be windy &/or curvy looking
- Turn RIGHT at the Yamasaki store or the red & yellow "Y" store.
- Walk straight on that road, no turns...
- Pass a tori gate on your right
- Up the little hill
- POOF! You are there!
OK, I am the biggest klutz. An expensive camera is truly the last thing I should be allowed to carry, yet I have a nice one... add the lenses & I have an overly retarded expensive one!
- Take the train to Ofuna Station
- When you arrive at Ofuna you will come up at the North Gate (for most all my fellow Japan dwellers) DO NOT EXIT
- Walk down the big center hall way past a lot of yummy little bakeries! Yummm...
- You will now be at the South Gate... EXIT
- Then go to your right towards what looks like the back of the station (STROLLERS) You will find a small hallway to an elevator... it is large enough for 4 adults with 4 single large strollers easily... take it down
- You will come out at an small intersection. You will need to cross the canal (over the bridge)
- Once all the way across take a left down the sidewalk to the first road,
- Turn right at that road/end of sidewalk (you will be looking at a hill & currently construction at that little intersection)
- Then take the next immediate right (before the hill) down what looks like an exclusive alley... remember to be quieter & respectful
- Walk a few yards in & you will see 2 stone lanterns... a sign with kanji with 300 yen (adults), 100 yen (children).
- You will be at the base of a rather steep hill, with determination, strollers can go up! They will guide you at the top where to park them.
Thanks to my wonderful friend Missy, I have found a new site that I am too addicted to! Thanks! Like I really needed more help in the shopping department or in the "Oh, I can make that" hobby world. LOL!!
I am curious...who was the moronic person (i.e. doctor, nutritionalist, etc) that came out & said that in order to eat healthy you have to also cut out all of the "good crap"?
Being stationed in Japan comes with its many advantages, but it also comes with many drawbacks...like finding a good dog groomer. I wasn't about to submit my little Molly back to that on base kennel lady, even if for just a day! Plus apparently, she does a poodle shave/cut on any & all dogs. Gross!